Field Intern Spotlight: Esmeralda Gordillo

Missy Gordillo-smaller
MSW intern Esmeralda Gordillo, left, with her supervisor, Barbara Blackledge, director of social services at Family Health Center.

Student Class/Year
Part-time cohort/Class of 2019

Hometown
Browns Mills, New Jersey

Agency Name
Family Health Center, Laurel

Internship Type
MSW – 2nd

What are your responsibilities as an intern?
My responsibilities as an intern are to aid my field instructors in promoting health and wellness throughout the community. The Department of Social Services works alongside the providers to ensure patients are offered the care and resources available. As an intern, I assist patients with Medicaid eligibility and enrollment, patient transportation, behavioral health referral services, and outpatient referral services.

What is your favorite part of the internship?
The favorite part of my internship is working with the PHRM/ISS program, which stands for Perinatal High Risk Management/Infant Service System. The program offers case management, nutritional, psycho-social support, home visits, and health education for high-risk pregnant women and their babies less than one year of age. The program is sponsored by the Mississippi State Department of Health. As an intern, I have conducted a few home visits and educated moms-to-be on the importance of a healthy pregnancy and its benefits. Nothing is more rewarding than witnessing your clients/patients succeed.

What are the most important things you’ve learned as an intern?
When one arrives at an agency, there are no scripts, and often we do not know what to expect. However, our professionalism, character, and work ethic should always stand out. I have learned this by shadowing the people who have been in the field for many years. I am humbled to be working with my field instructor, Barbra Blackledge. She is an inspiration to me because she goes above and beyond for the people she serves. This is social work at its finest.

How do you balance your internship hours and other responsibilities?
I have been blessed to be able to balance my internship, job, and responsibilities because I am employed at Family Health Center as well. I am the community education specialist, and this has allowed me the opportunity to practice all the skills I have learned while in the program. For this reason, I chose Family Health Center as my internship. Also, the Hispanic/Latino community is growing, leading to an increase in healthcare services and resources for families with a language barrier. I am grateful to assist in any way possible.

What is your advice to future interns so they can be successful?
My advice is to keep a positive attitude and always conduct yourself in a professional manner, but most of all; remember why you chose social work as a profession.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?
In the field of social work, there are so many avenues one can take. However, I truly enjoy the therapeutic side. My hope is to become a therapist and work with clients.

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